Lately I've been doing everything I usually do, only not in English.
That is, I worked, talked, read, laughed, wrote, surfed sites and the rest of normal daily life, but in a different language, not in English.
This is why I found it hard to take a break, go back to English, even if it was for the 15-30 minutes it takes me to write a post. But, here, I've done it. I wasn't expecting to post before the 11th, this Thursday, which is the day I'll finally come home and immerse myself in English again, but I have.
Languages are interesting. To each their own little nuances, or not so little. Languages can be forgiving and strict in different areas. For example, English is very forgiving gender wise, while some languages, such as French, have a gender for every object. English, on the other hand, is very strict with its tenses, all that progressiveness (past progressive), while other languages have only the basic past, present and future tenses.
Take melody and intonation. In Chinese, for example, a word can receive different meaning depending on the way it is said, the melody. In other languages, the whole sentence can take a meaning just from the intonation. For example, questions in some languages need not be phrased in the form of a question, the intonation makes it clear that the sentence is a question.
Then we have vocabulary and synonyms. Some, like English, are very generous with synonyms, while others have quite a stingy vocabulary, practically half the words of the English language, or even less. And yet, even the "smallest" language, can have 300 different ways of expressing something important to that culture. The metaphors and idioms are also culture and language specific.
I do recommend studying a second language. Wholeheartedly. New ways of expressing things can easily come from other languages, not to mention that there aren't many things more rewarding than reading a book in the language it was written.
So while I'm usually confined to one language, English, lately I've been confined to another and found it difficult to write or even post in English. I'll be back by the end of this coming week to regular posting.Read the rest
Categories: writing, language, words